Katherine Sheehan, GfK Roper – The Third Age of Globalization

Key characteristics of the "third age of globalization":

  • Mobility
  • Control
  • Paradox (i.e. saying one thing, doing another)

Three stages thus far:

  1. Go global.  1980’s – “western monologue” – get your products in front of the world’s consumers
  2. Think global, act local.  1990’s – “translated western monologue.”  Adapt your products to local markets and they will buy them.
  3. Individual consumers.  2000’s.  “evolving dialogue”  beware of stronger local competition.  Examples include Tuangou and naughtycodes.

There’s a growing luxury paradox:  I like to buy products with prestigious brand names + I always like to buy things on sale (i.e. value-driven).  Target is taking advantage of this trend, offering design brands at affordable prices.

There’s a growing health paradox:  people realize the importance of healthy behavior + don’t [practice] often.

Annual perspective reveals an evolution of consumer moods:

  • 1995:  the age of autonomy
  • 1998:  spiraling into control
  • 2001:  recentering
  • 2003:  trading out/trading in
  • 2004:  creative tension
  • 2005:  lab time
  • 2006:  bringing it home, breaking away
  • 2007:  consumer mood = subdued.  Consumer response = awakening

Themes in 2007:  Assessing what it means to be an American.  A move to authenticity.  Two sides to every story.

America’s major concerns:
–    country going in the wrong direction
–    concern about having enough money for medical bills
–    Considered as status symbols:  having attended an elite college = 52%, flying first class = 55%

Thus, more people seeking community in places like co-ops and supper clubs.